Lifestyle Management & Concierge Service: New service for busy people

Maximum Magazine

April 2007
Nadejda Petrova

We don’t have to lie ourselves – yes, we live in stress. We work a lot in order to earn a lot and in the little free time we are tempting to do all our private tasks, waiting for us in the long list. Usually, we wait until the deadline comes. Then we worry ourselves because of the deadlines. And here comes the  lifestyle management & concierge services agency, right on time to help you. Their purpose is to make our lives more easy, pleasant and comfortable.
Who are they?

Silvia Todorova, the owner of TOdOOR - Lifestyle Management & Concierge Services Company, welcomes me with a smile and a cup of coffee. And she starts - “The idea is, the really busy people to have more free time for themselves, for their families, friends and to leave the everyday problems to someone else. The “Concierge Service” idea comes from the French word concierge. In all 5-star hotels, the concierge is the person who does different errands. He can send a fax, buy flowers, make a restaurant reservation, change the airline tickets, or find a car rent with a driver for 17 hours. The final goal is not only to provide all these everyday concierge tasks, but to provide a qualitative lifestyle management at a high level. The idea is to know the habits and needs of our clients so well, that we could plan their trips and holidays in January for the whole year. We could say to them that this year, it would be good to have a great travel to the Bahamas, because last year they have visited Tokyo and Paris. Also, we are ready to offer them where and how they could celebrate their birthday in a different way. This is the essential concept.” 

The Services

The services, that these kind of companies offer, are almost unlimited and it is very hard to be listed one by one. The only thing that unites the services is that they save money and problems. We understand that some of the most wanted services from TOdOOR are, for example, finding a cleaning woman, women for ironing, cooking, baby sitting, teachers for foreign languages, buying tickets for different concerts and theatre plays, air tickets. “ We often send flowers and cakes to the appointed addresses.  One of the most wanted services is also rent a car with a driver just for shopping, helping the lady with the bags”. I asked Silvia what is the strangest request they had: “Once, we had to provide a gentleman for an intelligent business lady. He had to be with her during some events – she smiles. In my opinion this was not so strange but interesting. He had to be at a definite age, intelligent, well off and hansom. Also he had to be very communicative."

The Clients

I understand that at this time the most active clients are the foreigners in Bulgaria that already have trust in such companies and can let someone else look after their children at a great price, at a professional level. The Bulgarian still doesn’t have the faith that can trust somebody at 100%. Despite, I ask Silvia how does an acquaintance between her and a new client proceeds.

“Usually they call us. We understand the way they get to us, and then if they still have not seen our web site, we ask them to do it. Then we ask them if they are interested in one or in a few services with a long lasting cooperation. We reject the single services, but if we see that the person has potential and interest in working with us, we organize a meeting. After a conversation we decide if we and the client him/herself want to work together. It is very important for me, the persons we work with to be good people and I must say that we don’t work with everyone. I demand the persons we work with to be intelligent, loyal and to think positively. We don’t need a lot of clients. I have always said that this is a boutique service. I prefer to work with a few people but to be valuable.”

The System

The system is a membership fee, which for 2007 is 100 lv. Then every service has its price. If you call us today and say that somebody has to repair your parquet, our task is for 24 hours to give you an answer – the day of the week when the repair is going to happen, the company that is going to do it, how much will it cost. If the client wants an assistant from TOdOOR to attend, it will cost more. Actually, the company has different packages – services per hour that are more advantageous. There is no deadline for using the services. It is not necessary to spend your 10 hours that you have bought for services for a month. This is a convention of the companies from West Europe.  There the package has its deadline. If you use the hours – ok, but if not – the package is not valid for the next month.

By the way, concierge services and lifestyle management are new not only in Bulgaria, but also in the world. The business started in USA in 1998. It is very popular in England and USA. In Europe the companies for lifestyle management and concierge services are still very few. Despite, the rate of development is increasing very fast. Well, this is expected. It is great to know that after the working day somebody has already walked our dog and we can relax and have fun.